Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gateshead Keeper Montgomery Is Forced to Withdraw FROMVARDY's Non-League Academy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gateshead Keeper Montgomery Is Forced to Withdraw FROMVARDY's Non-League Academy

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Bowron

GATESHEAD goalkeeper James Montgomery has not taken part in Jamie Vardy's new V9 Academy project set up to champion non-league talent.

Montgomery was one of the first players to sign up for the five-day residential course taking place at Manchester City's academy this week.

However, insurance issues meant professional non-league clubs would not take the risk of allowing contracted players to attend.

England C man Montgomery was a player with AFC Telford United at the time he signed up, and was subsequently used in promotion pictures alongside Leicester City's former non-league striker Vardy.

A five-figure move to Gateshead at the end of January gave the 23-yearold the chance to play professional football, thus ruling him out of participating in Manchester this week. "There was no kind of insurance in place regarding medical costs and wages for players injured at the camp," said Gateshead general manager Mike Coulson.

The 42-strong intake to the V9 Football Academy consists almost entirely of semi-professional players.

Four from the region are taking part - North Shields defender Curtis Coppen and Spennymoor trio Glen Taylor, Ryan Hall and Shane Henry.

A week of coaching and analysis will see a host of professional clubs run the rule over the specially selected intake. Heed striker Nyal Bell, who will be on loan at National League rivals Chester for the first half of the 2017/18 season, was also linked with the V9 academy.

All of Gateshead's players are on professional contracts, with all but defender James Bolton's ending at the end of the forthcoming season.

Montgomery trains once a week at hometown club Sunderland and played for an England C representative X1 at the end of last month. Montgomery will have a new defensive line in front of him next season, with Manny Smith yesterday rejoining Wrexham. …

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